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Winthrop University Hospital

Department of External Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Carolann Martines
Publications Specialist
(516) 663-2234


Pictured at the 2013 CCFK Black and White Ball are (l.-r.) Linda Sweeney, Pediatric Development Manager at Winthrop; Cathy Collins; honorees Ali and Rich Volpe; and John F. Collins, Winthrop’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

John and Tara Schmitt, Feature Sponsors of the Seventh Annual Black and White Ball to benefit Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids and founders of the Charlie's Champions Foundation, present a $50,000 donation in support of the Center’s psychosocial services.
Garden City Residents Ali and Rich Volpe Honored For Their Tireless Commitment to the CCFK

The Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK) at Winthrop-University Hospital hosted its Seventh Annual Black and White Ball at the Bridgeview Yacht Club in Island Park, New York, on April 25, 2013. More than 350 guests helped raise over $280,000 to benefit the Center’s unique psychosocial, creative arts therapy, and medical programs.

The gala, emceed by WCBS Radio’s Sophia Hall, honored Rich and Ali Volpe of Garden City whose altruistic efforts – in time, talent and personal resources – have enriched the CCFK in a myriad of ways. Pediatric Development Manager, Linda Sweeney, mentioned how she had met the Volpes through a longtime friend. She spoke about connections like this, which are so essential to the Center’s accomplishments. The Volpes’ passion for the Center and their dedication to its mission have raised visibility for their work within their community; in addition, they have brought its message of hope and healing to a broader-based New York metro region. In applauding the Center and its services in their speech, the Volpes encouraged the gala audience to spread awareness to just one friend, colleague or acquaintance and help promote the CCFK’s mission on behalf of children with cancer.

Ms. Sweeney also thanked Tara & John Schmitt - Feature Sponsors of the event and founders of the Charlie's Champions Foundation - describing them as shining examples of a special connection, as “grateful patients who have become grateful donors.” The Schmitts, on behalf of their Foundation, expressed gratitude for their son's successful treatment at the CCFK and presented a $50,000 contribution in support of the Center’s psychosocial services which had greatly benefitted their son Charlie during treatment.

Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of the CCFK talked about the Volpes and their connection to the Center. “Ali began her relationship with us as a volunteer, working with children in our recreation area and creating costumes for our Rock2Beat Pediatric Cancer event. Rich’s interest in our unique delivery of care inspired his philanthropy, and together they have made a tremendous impact on the success we enjoy today,” he said. Dr. Weinblatt also acknowledged the ongoing leadership of the Hospital’s administration.

The Cancer Center for Kids, a member of the prestigious national Children’s Oncology Group, is Nassau County’s largest outpatient facility for treating children with cancer and blood disorders. For more information about the CCFK, contact Linda Sweeney at (516) 663-9400 or visit to view a special video about the Center and its services.

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